How to Get Millenials to Trust and Respond to Your Advertising

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There was a time not long ago when if you brought up “Millennial marketing,” people would roll their eyes. That time has come and gone. Today, Millennials account for more than $1 trillion in U.S. consumer spending . According to Goldman Sachs , there are 91 million of them, as opposed to only 61 million Gen Xers and 77 million Baby Boomers. And this smart, young group of consumers has a lot of influence over how your brand is perceived.

Why? First of all, this demographic is way more social than any other. According to 2017 data from Sprout Social,  30% of Millennials engagewith a brand on social at least once a month, and Millennials and Gen Xers are twice as likely to follow brands on social than baby boomers. Plus, they’re sharing and re-sharing, tweeting and retweeting, Snapchatting and Instagramming about their experiences with brands like yours (a lot). Thanks to that pleasure-inducing neurotransmitter Dopamine, they check their phones 150 times per day.

But they’re not just socializing —  they’re using the internet to research products before purchasing. Contrary to popular belief, many Millennials have money. In fact, one in six have $100,000 in savings. And if you want to attract the attention of this rather affluent, very large group of young consumers, you need to get smart about advertising your business on the social channels and search platforms where they spend their time.

Millennials are a skeptical bunch

When I say get smart about advertising online, I’m not just talking about doing it — I’m talking about doing it right.

Millennials don’t trust advertising, celebrity endorsements or any of the more traditional, one-way communications strategies. They’re even growing skepticism of “influencers,” and are beginning to doubt their credibility. This skepticism is in large part due to the “fake news” phenomenon that has plagued (and to some degree, powered) politicians and celebrities alike over the past few years. Such untrustworthy media banter has eroded trust among U.S. consumers — and Millennials are probably the most wary of us all.

So how do you build trust with younger consumers online? With user-generated content (UCG) — like reviews.

I wrote last month about the importance of authenticity, and how businesses can leverage user-generated content such as online reviews to add credibility to their brand message. Nearly all Millennials (97%) read online reviews before selecting a business, and 89% trust those reviews. And a recent UK study found eight out of 10 Millennials never buy anything without first reading a review.

Another popular form of UCG? Photos. Statista reports photos are the most common form of UGC created by Millennials. This type of content is likely to get shared, as Millennials use visual content to communicate (think Snapchat and Instagram). Say a group of 24-year-olds try out a new restaurant and end up snapping a bunch of photos. They post to Instagram and @mention the name of the place. They’re laughing and smiling and maybe saying something nice about the food. That’s free (trustworthy) advertising — and it’s viral, too.

Here’s another one: Google Seller Ratings. Google Seller Ratings are a Google AdWords extension that automatically displays your business’s average rating alongside your ads.

But to get a Seller Rating, you have to do a little homework. You need at least 150 authentic, transaction verified reviews that are 12 months or younger, and the aggregate score of those reviews has to be at least 3.5 stars. Also, the source of the reviews must be one of Google’s approved review systems — and there are only about 15 of those.

Here’s an example of what it looks like in Google search results:

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Basically, when you earn a Google Seller Rating, Google is saying, “This company is worth considering.” That’s a powerful way to get millennial consumers — or any consumers, for that matter —  to trust you. When your company displays Google seller ratings, your more discerning prospects will know you’re reputable and that you deliver a high-quality product or service. And your ads will attract more qualified leads — Google reports ads with Google Seller Ratings achieve a 17% higher click-through rate than the same ads without ratings.

Advocacy out-promotes advertising

If you think about it, Millennials have changed the way we do business altogether — they are the reason mobile matters so much, and why doorstep delivery of everything from furniture to breakfast is commonplace. They’ve changed workplace expectations, and we’ve responded with free lunches, gym memberships and cocktail hours. Millennials know their boundaries, and they aren’t afraid to assert them. So, doesn’t it make sense that our advertising strategies have to change to capture their attention and earn their business?

Source: Forbes.com

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